MeriTalk News Briefs: GSA CISO Retires, Army Gaming Training, Metro Has Cybersecurity Woes

Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

No Sour Grapes From Retired GSA CISO

Kurt Garbars, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) chief information security officer (CISO), announced in a LinkedIn post that he officially retired on June 30, following an 18-year career with GSA. While at the agency, Garbars led the CIO Council’s Federal Cloud Computing Advisory Council Security Working Group. Garbars, who logged 30 years with the Federal government, previously worked for the Department of Defense. Bo Berlas is stepping in to fill Garbars’ shoes as the acting CISO. Berlas served as GSA’s director of security for the last five years. According to Garbars’ post, he’s heading back to school. “I have now embarked on my next career and as of yesterday have moved to Adelaide, Australia to pursue a Master’s degree in viticulture and oenology (i.e. winemaking) for the next couple of years,” Garbars said.

U.S. Army Awards $128M Contract For Training and Simulation Services

Northrop Grumman will continue providing support for the Army’s Mission Command Training Center (MCTC), the company said. Northrop Grumman was awarded a $128 million contract to provide live, virtual, constructive simulation-driven exercises, gaming-based training, mission staff training, and technical support. Northrop Grumman has supported MCTC for 16 years and delivers mission command training to more than 70,000 service members annually.

Metro Audit Reveals Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

A classified Inspector General audit of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority revealed vulnerabilities system-wide that leave Metro open to hacks and cyberattacks that could endanger the safety of day-to-day operations, the Washington Post reported Sunday. Metro staff said they are committed to improving the cybersecurity posture of the transit system. The report specifically focused on Metro’s incident response capabilities and whether its tech staff have the ability to detect, fend off, and shut down a cyberattack. The results of the audit were presented during a closed-door meeting of Metro’s board of directors. Results were not made public due to safety concerns.

AT&T Hires Former Secretary of State’s Chief of Staff

AT&T hired Margaret Peterlin as vice president of global external and public affairs. Peterlin previously served as State Department chief of staff during Sec. Rex Tillerson’s tenure. “Peterlin brings both private-sector and government leadership experience to AT&T,” said a spokesman for the company. Before serving at the State Department, Peterlin was a Naval officer and a congressional staffer. She also held senior level positions at the Patent and Trademark Office during the George W. Bush administration.

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